The East Jackson Eagles hope the region consolation rounds provide just that — consolation — following a rocky regular season.
The Eagles (2-15) were swept last week by Jefferson, 13-0 and 8-2, to finish the subregion slate at 1-11 and end on a nine-game skid. East Jackson now has six consolation games left to potentially gain some momentum for next year.
The Eagles play at Oglethorpe County Thursday, host Dawson County Friday, travel Saturday to play the loser of the Hart County-Rabun County playoff series, host East Hall Monday, travel April 26 to play the loser of the Elbert County-Union County series and travel April 28 to face the loser of the North Oconee-Fannin County series.
The regular season ended Friday with an East Jackson trip to Jefferson to close out the series.
Jefferson’s Matt Bowen and Micah Carpenter combined to throw a one-hitter, and Andrew Bartek, Tyler Cole and Ryan Johnson crushed home runs in three consecutive at-bats as the Dragon baseball team cruised to an 8-2 Senior Night win over East Jackson.
The long balls were part of an eight-run third inning during which the Dragons brought 13 batters to the plate and scored all their runs on the night.
The pitching performance wasn’t shabby either. The Dragons retired the side in order in every inning except the top of the fourth.
Bowen threw five innings, allowing one hit and two runs, one of which was earned. He also struck out three batters and walked none. Carpenter worked two perfect innings of relief, striking out three.
The pivotal third inning for Jefferson started with the Dragons getting singles from Andy Nicolas and Hanon Price and scoring off a sacrifice bunt from Trent Sorrells. Two batters later, Max Ford ripped a two-run double to up the lead to 3-0. Austin Thompson then reached on an error, putting two runners on base for Bartek, the cleanup hitter. And clean up he did.
Bartek responded with a three-run blast over the leftfield wall to push the lead to 6-0. Cole and Johnson followed with solo shots, and Jefferson led 8-0.
East Jackson got two of those runs back in the top of the fourth with a two-out, two-run single from Alex Martin for the Eagles’ only hit. But Bowen and Carpenter were in command the rest of the way.
Jefferson secured a region playoff spot two days earlier at East Jackson’s expense, beating the Eagles 13-0 last Wednesday.
The Dragons scored seven runs in the first two innings and never looked back to clinch a no. 4 seed in the 8-AA postseason.
Jefferson got started early, scoring four runs in the first inning without the benefit of a base hit.
The Dragons drew three walks against East Jackson starter Caleb Hardy and scored their first two runs off an error. Austin Thompson later scored on a double steal, and Andy Nicolas brought home another run by grounding out to short.
Jefferson benefitted from an East Jackson error and two more walks in the second inning, loading the bases for Max Ford. Ford took full advantage, smashing a three-run double to put the Dragons up 7-0.
Jefferson scored two more times in the fourth inning off a wild pitch and a balk. The Dragons added four more insurance runs in the seventh, scoring one off an error, two off a double from Patrick Martin and another off a single from Alex Gaba.
The Eagles were held to two hits in the loss, with Ethan Lyons (1-for-2) and Nate Strait (1-for-2) hitting safely.